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Dakar 2020 : tribute to Paulo Gonçalves

Following the death on the circuit of motorcyclist Paulo Gonçalves, many personalities made their voices heard to salute the memory of the man who will remain in the minds of many as "the big brother of the Dakar".

The Dakar family is in mourning. Portuguese motorcycle rider Paulo Gonçalves died on Sunday, January 12th following an accidental fall that occurred at kilometer 276 of the seventh stage of the race.

Known as “the big brother of the Dakar”, the Portuguese, affectionately nicknamed “Speedy Gonçalves”, was on his 13th participation, the first one dating back to 2006, and his adventure in the dunes of North Africa. His best ranking goes back to 2015, with a second place in South America. In all, Paulo Gonçalves finished four times in the top 10 of the race.

A rock

He overcame so many hardships that his death took everyone by surprise. Just a few days before his accident, the Portuguese man showed exemplary courage: after his engine broke down, he himself carried out the repairs, after 3 hours waiting for the technical truck, under a blazing sun, telling the cameras that “you must never give up”. A determination that commands respect.

 

Supporters are pouring in

Respect that all the participants in the race readily accorded him. From Stéphane Peterhansel to Carlos Sainz, via Xavier de Soultrait or even the race directors, all made a point of saluting the memory of the deceased. Even outside the circuit, personalities such as André Villas-Boas, coach of the Olympique de Marseille, spoke publicly to send their condolences to the relatives and family of this “figure of the Dakar”.

A great loss for the world of rallying…